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Wood Turners Guild makes art from city trees and Spirit of the North benefits

Members of the Prince George Wood Turners Guild, along with Judy Neiser and Selen Alpay of the Spirit of the North Health Care Foundation, and Mayor Lyn Hall show off products made from trees taken down from in front of City Hall. Bill Phillips photo

Residents and visitors to Prince George have a new opportunity to own a piece of local history and contribute to a great cause.

As construction began last spring on the parkade and Park House condominium development next to City Hall, some of the trees on the City Hall lawn had to be removed to allow for the relocation of infrastructure. While the spruce trees removed were replanted at Duchess Park, the elm and ash trees were turned over to community organizations, such as the Wood Turners Guild.

Since that time, the wood from the trees has been seasoning in the workshops of several local craftspeople. Recently, members of the Prince George Wood Turners Guild began to work with the elm and ash to fashion it into bowls, vases, and pens. Twelve of these hand-crafted pieces have been donated to the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation. The foundation will be auctioning off the works to help raise funds for diagnostic and treatment equipment.

“The guild has graciously donated some beautiful and unique pieces, which the foundation will use to generate funds for health care equipment,” said Judy Neiser, CEO of Spirit of the North. “We are looking forward to featuring them at some of our upcoming signature events.”

The Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation provides people with meaningful opportunities to contribute to better health outcomes within the service area of the University Hospital of Northern B.C.

“We are thankful that the city provided us with these materials,” said Bob Lasure of the Wood Turners Guild. “The wood from the trees is beautiful and full of character so it provided a great experience to work with hit while helping a very worthwhile cause.

The Woodturners Guild weren’t the only artisans given the opportunity to work with these trees. Six other craftsmen are continuing to season the wood before they create artwork, including furniture, that will help non-profits and charities to raise funds to help the community and give the trees a second life.

“On behalf of Council, I would like to thank the Woodturners Guild for producing these wonderful pieces of art for the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, which does such great work in Prince George,” said Mayor Lyn Hall. “It’s fantastic to know that the wood from the trees at City Hall is being put to such excellent use and towards furthering healthcare in our community.”

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